We now have proposed “do-not-track” legislation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate.
Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced the Do Not Track Me Online Act in February, and yesterday, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the “Do-Not-Track Online Act 0f 2011″. Senator Rockefeller is the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Senator Rockefeller’s bill directs the Federal Trade Commission to develop regulations that would basically establish standards for a universal “Do Not Track” mechanism that would enable individuals to express a desire to not be tracked online. The bill allows for case-by-case exceptions, but only with the end user’s explicit consent.
The bill gives enforcement power to the FTC, treating violations as unfair and deceptive trade practices and (like HITECH) authorizes state attorneys general to bring civil actions for violations. It also has teeth. The bill includes civil penalties of $16,000 per day for violations, with a maximum total liability of $15,000,000.
There will be more analysis of this proposed legislation in the days to come. See an article in Media Post for a good description of the advertising issues.